Asclepias brachystephana Engelm. ex Torr.
Bract Milkweed, Desert-rose Milkweed
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)
USDA Symbol: asbr
Native from central Mexico northwest to Arizona, being a fairly common native of mesquite scrub and disturbed areas of dry alluvial soil in Trans-Pecos Texas. The stems, 1-8 dm (8-32 in) long, either ascend at an angle or are erect and are of a whitish color owing to the dense coating of hair. At times the hair falls from the older parts of the stems, leaving them greenish. The leaf blades are lanceolate, 5-12 cm (2-5 in) long, and 4-11 mm (0.16-0.4 in) wide. The common flower stalk, above the uppermost leaves, is only 10-22 mm (0.4-0.9 in) long; the individual flower stalks, 6 to 12 per cluster, are 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in) long. The petals are oblong-ovate, about 5 mm (0.2 in) long, and red purple to violet; they are flexed away from the center of the flower. (Bibref 824)
Warnock (Bibref 315) reports that this species is suspected of being toxic to livestock. Cheatham et al. (Bibref 824) discuss the toxicity of all species of the Genus Asclepias including the toxic effects on livestock. Additionally, the medicinal properties are listed and A. brachystephana was one of the species of milkweeds known to be collected and used for food by Native Americans.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Fruit Type: Follicle
Flower: Stamens 5
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-PM-5 Collected 2006-08-14 in Presidio County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 824 - Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico (Volume 2: Asclepias-Canavalia) (2000) Cheatham, S. ; M. C. Johnston; L. Marshall
Bibref 315 - Wildflowers of the Davis Mountains and the Marathon Basin, Texas (1977) Warnock, B. H.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Asclepias brachystephana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Asclepias brachystephana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias brachystephana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2017-05-11
Research By: DEW,NH